“painting for me isn’t the art, the art is in the head”
Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?
Negative – NUT strikes, no teachers and work slashed by other kids, the positive that came out of that was it made me less precious about my work
What would your school report have said about your art?
Promising – but the NUT strikes meant that most exams were not marked
Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?
I walked out of an interview at art-college. I was told I would never be an artist or earn a living from it.
What or who has inspired you over the years?
What Artists do you admire?
Turner, Picasso, De Kooning, Bacon, Ben Nicholson, Rothko, Flint, Freud, Hotere, Hurst among others.
What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?
Mine – non they come and go
Turner – Rain steam and speed
Willem de Kooning – Pirates
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?
Having a number of people reduced to tears in front of my work
What have you sacrificed for your art?
What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?
You will never make it as a career
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?
Don’t do it
How do you start a piece of work?
From the beginning – Usually from the end, thought process, deconstruction of idea, reconstruction, like a jigsaw puzzle I guess.
When is it finished?
It never really is – painting stops but the myriad of options mentally continue, painting for me isn’t the art – the art is in the head.
Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?
Did it need to be so high? (Pink Floyd) noli nothis permittere te terere (U2)
Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?
Depends. Mood of music to suit mood of work usually. Although that sometimes messes with your head too much so it’s better to hit the off button. So music ranges from Jazz to Pink Floyd. I avoid Rap and Opera – both obscene.
What is your favourite medium to work with/in?
Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?
No – Don’t believe in luck – either probability or time and position.
Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?
No. Dreams are not real and can only be used as inspiration. I strive to better myself, be a better human – the world is a mess because of us humans
Is there anything you avoid with your art?
Try to avoid obvious
Your artwork is beautiful, moving and striking it was a real honour to photograph you in your studio, thank you very much. To read more about Bobby Kurb follow the link to his website.